Dr. Emese Soos is a Senior Lecturer at Tufts University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.2015 1-4955-0411-5
This study focuses on the relationship of Balzac to alchemy as it applies to the analysis of La Peau de chagrin.
His interest stems from family influences, extensive reading in his early student days and research he did to document his fictional works. In La Peau de chagrin
the protagonist cast as a youthful hero formulates a plan to achieve his goals according to the alchemical process of transformation, and the organization of the novel parallels its principal stages. Alchemy thus serves as a paradigm that highlights the hero’s missteps and suggests the moral reflection missed by contemporaneous critics according to Balzac.